Saturday, November 23, 2019  8PM –  Coco Love Alcorn, Amanda Rheaume & Annie Sumi ($25):

Newmarket Folk Society is thrilled to present a triple-shot of talent with these three talented singer-songwriters in a musical workshop!  Workshops are very popular at folk festivals. The concept of the workshop at festivals is attributed to Estelle Klein who was involved in the Mariposa Folk Festival from the start and was the artistic director from 1964 to about 1981. Workshops bring together artists who might not normally perform together and in doing so a lot of magical musical interactions happen.

As a performer, Coco Love Alcorn is always in the moment; joyful and genuine, soulful and compelling. Alcorn sings joyful soul; a combination of her diverse musical influences, including jazz, pop, R&B and folk. Her voice has been hailed by press as extraordinary, beautiful and stunning. Her playful and witty character, love of improvising and and her willingness to engage fearlessly with the audience had made Coco Love Alcorn an established presence on the Canadian music scene over the last 20 years, with 10 albums to her credit along with numerous cross Canada tours, festival appearances, award nominations and notable success in TV and film licensing.

One of Amanda Rheaume’s great gifts as a songwriter is her ability to take the personal and make it universal, drawing upon her own experience to deliver messages with a wide resonance. She digs deep on The Skin I’m In, reflecting upon her Metis heritage and addressing issues of identity and mental health. Her earlier albums met with widespread critical acclaim. 2013’s Keep A Fire earned her a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of The Year as well as a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year, while 2016’s Holding Patterns received a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination. Amanda has long employed her music as a force for good, as shown by three trips to Afghanistan to perform for Canadian military personnel, plus visits to the Alert base in Canada’s far north and the troubled indigenous community of Attawapiskat. She also co-founded Babes4Breasts, an initiative that, through concerts and recording projects, raised money for breast cancer charities across Canada over a 10-year period. This is an artist with a heart as big as her talent.

Dancing on a line between imagination and reality, ethereal-folk artist Annie Sumi’s music invites you into a familiar otherworld. Like an inbound wind, her voice begins with a whisper, gathers strength and purpose, and transforms into an airy howl. Her songs take you to places of quiet wonder, of unspoken love, of tranquil landscape. Over the last three and a half years, the Ontario-based singer-songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums and toured her music across Canada, parts of the U.S. and Europe. With grace and humility, she has charmed audiences at more than 300 shows, from living rooms to major music festivals, and has been asked to open for the likes of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Amelia Curran and Jim Cuddy. In 2018, she was recognized with a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year. Folk-roots magazine, Penguin Eggs, listed Sumi as one of their top music discoveries for 2018, describing her voice as generous and expansive and offering high praise.

Saturday, January 18, 2020  8PM –  The Slocan Ramblers ($25):

The Slocan Ramblers (2019 Juno Award Nominees) are Canada’s bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have become a leading light of today’s acoustic music scene. With a reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, The Slocans have been winning over audiences from Merlefest to RockyGrass and everywhere in between. The Slocans are: Frank Evans on banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar and Alastair Whitehead on bass.
On their much-anticipated new album Queen City Jubilee (2019 Juno Award nominee for Traditional Roots Album of the Year), The Slocans showcase their unique blend of bluegrass, old-time and folk with deep songwriting, lightning fast instrumentals and sawdust-thick vocals. With their trademark raucous energy, this new album presents The Slocan Ramblers at the top of their game, writing and playing tunes to keep you up all night. This is roots music without pretension – music intended to make you feel something. Say hello to your new favourite band!

Friday, March 20, 2020  8PM –  Runa ($25):

Celebrating its 10-Year Anniversary as a band, Celtic-American Roots music “super group”, RUNA, continues to push the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.

In conjunction with the band’s 10-Year Anniversary Tour, RUNA released their sixth album, “TEN: The Errant Night”, on March 16th, 2019!

Seeking to preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age, RUNA creates the backbone of its signature roots sound from the musical and geographical diversity of its individually established band members.  Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation.

RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de BarraCheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Jake James of New York on the fiddle, and Caleb Edwards of Nashville on mandolin and vocals.  

“Timeless and flawless…” – Jim Allford, PA Music Scene

The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and three Independent Music Awards including Best LIVE Album, Best World/Traditional Song, and Best Bluegrass Song.

Already receiving international praise on both sides of the Atlantic, “TEN: The Errant Night”, has been nominated for Best World/Traditional Song (“An Buachaillín Bán”) in the Independent Music Awards!  “This is RUNA’s most ambitious album yet and it is a stunner!” – Bill Margeson, LiveIreland

“One of the best and inventive folk bands of this modern era!” – London Celtic Punks

“Best of all, RUNA sounds like no one else!” – Travis Rogers, Jr., Music Life & Times

Saturday, April 18, 2020  8PM –  Stephen Fearing ($25):

Stephen Fearing has been named as one of the finest songwriters in Canada and has built a national and international audience for his music, doing it old school through countless performances at intimate venues and on the concert stages of festivals and theatres across Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe.

In 1996, he co-founded Blackie and the Rodeo Kings with Colin Linden and Tom Wilson. Originally intended to be a one-off collaboration to record a tribute album of songs written by Canadian folk music legend, Willie P. Bennett, the trio quickly recognized that they had created something worthy of further exploration and both critics and audiences agreed. More than 22 years later, with nine albums and a JUNO award to their credit, the band has become one of the most respected names in North American roots-rock.

Fearing has released ten albums as a solo artist, featuring musical guests including: Bruce Cockburn, Margo Timmons, Rose Cousins, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin, and Sarah McLachlan. When not working behind the microphone, he spends time producing records, including Suzie Vinnicks JUNO Award-nominated album, Happy Here. “I really enjoy collaborating with other artists. It’s a blast and, as a bonus, it gives me a chance to learn and expand my skill set.”

Like the guests on his albums, the many awards and nominations that have come his way over the years speak to the respect he has earned among his peers, presenters, and critics. His abiding love for his craft and ability to delight audiences are further reflected in multiple JUNO and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations and awards and an ever-expanding touring circuit throughout North America, the UK, and Europe. For his album, Every Souls a Sailor, he was awarded the 2017 Worldwide Album of the Year by Blues & Roots Radio and named 2017 Contemporary Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Through a life of many relocations and countless months on the road performing, Fearing has become a gifted storyteller and true musical nomad with the ability to enthrall audiences of all sizes and attitudes. “Getting on stage is the fun part, especially when the adrenaline kicks in”, he says with a broad smile. “People want to escape and be taken on a journey. I build my shows so they do just that.”

Saturday, May 30, 2020  8PM –  Lennie Gallant ($30):

Recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s best performing songwriters, Lennie Gallant has released twelve albums (10 in English and 2 in French) of original songs which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the JUNOs, Les Prix Eloizes, and The East Coast Music Awards, including 2017 ECMA Entertainer of the Year. His double CD of the 22 songs from his multimedia hit production, Searching For Abegweit, which ran for 140 shows, also won him an ECMA. He was named Canadian Folk Artist of The Year for 2016 and his song Peter’s Dream was voted one of the Top Ten East Coast Songs of All Time.

A recipient of the Order of Canada, Lennie is an international touring artist, who has performed all over the continent, in Europe, for the troops in Afghanistan, and at the XXI Winter Olympics. He has toured with Symphony Nova Scotia, Symphony New Brunswick, and with Symphony PEI. His songs have been covered by numerous artists including Jimmy Buffett, The Rankins, and Measha Brueggergosman and have appeared in feature films and TV shows. One of his albums, When We Get There, even went up to the international space station with Canadian Astronaut, Julie Payette (now the Governor General of Canada) for the crew to enjoy and orbited the planet 248 times. How about that for high rotation!

Fresh on the heels of his 2017 ECMA wins, Gallant buried himself in the studio with producer Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant, David Miles) to record his new album, Time Travel. In addition to performances from his own stellar band, Jeremy Gallant, Patricia Richard and Sean Kemp, the album features guest appearances by Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant, The Fretless, and The Atlantic String Machine, among others. The new songs have been garnering significant airplay and stellar reviews. The album was recently named one of the Top Ten Folk Albums of the Year alongside Richard Thompson, John Prine and Joan Baez by a panel of Canadian music industry professionals. Lennie Gallant has been involved in numerous charity events, and he recently received the PEI Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work and support of many worthwhile causes.

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